Great START Wage Supplement Program

Great START (Strategy to Attract and Retain Teachers) can provide you with extra money on top of what you’re already making. Great START is a wage supplement program that rewards eligible early care and education practitioners in DCFS licensed childcare centers, family/group family child care providers for receiving higher education and for remaining at their current place of employment.



Program Specifics:


  • Great START rewards child care practitioners by supplementing their income based on education they have already attained above DCFS licensing standards.
  • Great START wage supplements are paid directly to the eligible practitioner on a six-month schedule based on his/her continued employment at the same program.
  • Great START helps an agency maintain employees, therefore increasing quality and consistent care to the children, without raising parent fees.
  • Great START builds on and compliments the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program. The Gateways Scholarship Program assists child care practitioners with attaining more education, Great START rewards those who have already attained education and remain employed at the same child care program.
  • Great START's wage supplement scale determines practitioners eligibility based on educational attainment and eligible position.